Monday, 30 January 2012

The Leash

The Leash is an expansion of the Trial Officer Rules.

Everyone knows commissars.  Everyone has had a perfectly sensible officer gunned down by one of these black-and-red-clad lunatics and lost a subsequent close combat as a result.  But reading the Departmento Munitorium manual (and why, by the way, are they £50 on Amazon?  If I'd have known their value would go up that much I'd have bought more than one) it occurred that most capital crimes, most of the '31 ways to crash-land', as it were, just refer to 'officers' rather than Commissars.  Coupled with a stint of watching some Eastern Front WWII films, I thought it was about time I expanded the trial officer rules.

'The Leash' is a bit like a commissar 'upgrade', in that it turns an ordinary officer into one with the summary execution rule.  However, rather than the idealistic, stylised view of commissars inspiring men to feats of great bravery in the name of the Emperor, I thought most ordinary soldiers would just hate the officer even more - and wait for an opportunity to take a pot at him themselves.

Further to my rules from the last post, I thought it would be a good idea if, rather than you just picking these special rules to make your army super-elite, that these rules only apply in campaigns, and all the other players pick them on your behalf.  This requires a certain level of fair play from your opponents (so they don't all give your officers the... I don't know, Staggeringly Incompetent, or Paraplegic special rules, or something), but they should be able to translate the officer's actions and dice rolls into a suitable rule.  Eg, if the officer (i.e. you) keeps on pushing a platoon forward into withering enemy fire a la Enemy at the Gates, utterly indifferent to the ridiculous casualties, and keeps passing his morale checks, at the end of the game your fellow players can choose to nominate him for The Leash upgrade.  Just makes it a bit more 'real', and stops abuse of the system by you giving all your own officers rules like Napoleon Reborn or Make My Day.

Anyway, enough potato waffle.  The Rules!

THE LEASH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30/30/30 POINTS
The Lieutenant did not cry out or protest. His men were up in arms, screaming and arguing loudly in his defence, but the Provos kept them from being more than a background distraction. The clearing in the woods had only ten minutes before been the site of a ferocious battle, and the crack of las-bolts still punctuated the fracas that ensued.
Captain Amelius smirked slightly as he walked up to the centre of the mob, a passage held open by his loyal Provost staff. In the centre lay the contemptible officer. Perhaps it was a tenuous charge. Perhaps it really was a ‘tactical pause’, but that was all the excuse Amelius needed. He hated the Lieutenant, and more importantly wanted his platoon. It was supposed to be ‘each and every commissioned officer’s sacred duty to uphold good conduct and military discipline, if necessary by lethal force...’, but few took it so literally as Amelius. 
He drew his stub pistol in one smooth action, raising it and firing without the slightest pause.
The crowd fell silent. With one hand on his hip and the other holding the still-smoking pistol, Amelius looked upon the loathing faces of his new command.

‘The Leash’
Summary Execution
Although not a Commissar of the Schola Progenium, some officers will not hesitate to use the same lethal force to enforce discipline. The Leash has the Summary Execution rule as described for Commissars on page 32 of the Imperial Guard Codex.
That’ll teach you…
Needless to say, while the benefits on good order are marked; so too is the distrust and fear felt by the men towards their commander. So much so that if The Leash executes an officer in battle, roll a D6 afterwards. On a roll of 1, the men have hatched a plot to murder the dastardly scoundrel. (You can simply remove The Leash, but it prevents the perfect opportunity to play a Kill Team-style scenario, with The Leash and his band of loyal thugs occupying the command dugout, and a squad of disgruntled veterans on the prowl and out for revenge...)
If the officer is a Company Commander, he has the Senior Officer rule, and can issue two orders per turn as described on page 30 of the IG Codex. Otherwise, he has the Junior Officer Rule and can issue one order per turn, as described on page 36. Note that orders can only be given to the officer’s own men.


  1. :D Gold.
    Since your first post I had some random ideas...

    What about a Flyboy, you know the crazy overconfidence arrogant pilot- as an upgrade for a Valkyrie?

    A battle axe - Female senior officer?

    The Crazy General or Pompous War Colonel?

    Disabled governor general in hi-tech wheelchair?

    What about some different command advisors to accompany the command team:

    Mechanicum Adept as an Absent-minded professor, a Shoulder angel, Side kick, Spear carrier, an Old advisor?

    Use any if the like them and discard the rest.

  2. I meant to write "use any if you like them..."

  3. Wow, they're all great ideas! I love the the ideas for new advisors as well, they're brilliant, a bit like the old High Command Rules? Great shout. Look at today's post for the first one ...